I have 3 year-old son Jimmy. He was a full term baby and developed mostly normally. He crawled at 7 mths, walked at 9 mths, and started running soon after. He was always very coordinated and quick on his feet; although he often walked on his toes.
I was proud of his physical skills; however he didn't want to speak. At the age of 24 mths he began saying his first words. Since his speech was not up to standard, he was evaluated by speech pathologist and psychologist at 27 mths. I found out that although his physical and cognitive development was fine, his understanding and speech were slightly below the level of average 1 year old. At that time specialists could not pinpoint any specific problem. I was told that although he walked sometimes on his toes and generally liked order, he did not appear to have autism. Consequently, Jimmy began attending occupational and speech teraphy which he really enjoyed.
Now, at 35 mths his speech is about 6-8 mths behind. He uses about 280-300 words, says two words combinations, and often builds simple three-four word sentences. He responds to being called, follows simple directions, has great memory, likes being read to, played with and overall functions well. I am very proud of him; however there are things that get me worry. Jimmy often looks for visual stimulation by following lines (fences, cabinets); when he is bored or frustrated he lines his toys and runs around them in circles with very focused look on his face (he does not get too upset when I interrupt this behavior and does not do it as long as I play with him); he loves numbers, letters, colors and shapes; he is a picky eater, gets upset over textures of food, and does not like eating anything new. He likes routines to some degree, but does not obsess over them. He likes to be told upfront where we are going and gets excited by anticipation. He gets very excited and happy when he is around other kids; however, I have noticed that he does not know how to play with them. He does not understand games and has little pretend game skills. He often pushes down, pinches and kicks smaller children (especially his 10 mths old brother)and does not stop when being disciplined. I do not understand how can he be so happy to see other kids, and then be so physically violent when he is with them. He understands it is wrong but does it anyway. Interestingly, he never act that way toward bigger children, my husband or strangers. Mostly I and my younger son seem to serve as punch bags any time things are not going Jimmy's way. His OT thinks that a lot of his violence issues are just seeking for deep pressure input but it is hard to put up with. Challenging orders and causing trouble entertains him. Recently he began chewing on just about everything and it seems to relax him.
Is lining of things typical only to autism?
Should I have him tested for something?
How to release negative energy out of 3 year old?
How to stop his pinching of other children?
Three-year-olds face a number of developmental tasks, and among them are learning how to interact with peers and learning impulse control. My estimation is that the agressive behavior is more of an impulse control problems than anything else, and it will be important for you to handle this by a systematic plan for behavior management. Specifically, when he is aggressive (in any inappropriate way), immediately place him in time out for approximately five minutes. Your son is closing the gap in relation to his speech/language development, and that is encouraging. Relative to the lining up of items, it's not an uncommon thing to observe in children his age, and it certainly is not confined to children who display autistic disorder. While it is possible that your son displays some variant of pervasive developmental disorder, it is too early to know this. If he does, the condition would be some higher-functioning manifestation of PDD, not autistic disorder.
I am no expert, but he sounds pretty much like a normal 3 year old. He is probably jealous of his sibling and is acting out in handling the frustration he feels now that he doesn't have 100% of your attention. I know that boys can sometimes be delayed in their speech development. I would not let him get away with any hitting. That needs to be nipped in the bud. But, little ones are very competitive, with everyone. I am sure the doc will give you good advice...
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